Root 666, part of the push up. As much fun pedalling up as it is tearing down.
This Sunday saw Northern Downhill hosting their Champs of the Universe TT race at Hamsterley!
The atmosphere was pretty electric at Hamsterley this weekend, not only due to the high spirited TT racers (naming no names) but the official announcement that a certain local lad by the name of the Redcar Rocket Danny Hart and his Dad taking over the reigns at the Descend Bike Park, the biggest of its type in the North East.
Will Hawkswell taking on the large rooty section. No room for error in here
Hamsterley forest is a very versatile area for mountain bikers, not only does it have a good network of man made trails which are rideable all year round that can suit family rides, but also some more technical trails if you explore a little deeper. If you want to ride where some legends of the Downhill hill world train, then you have the Descend Bike Park which offers some thrilling, full on downhill trails and a well oiled uplift service too.
George Clarke showing some style in the man made trail section Oddsox
By now you’ll all know what a time trial race is (TT), but in short it is a downhill race, more suited to Enduro type bikes. You’ll also often spot people rattling down the trails on their hardtails. On the day you get a practice morning, then 2 timed races, the fastest of which is the time that goes forward into the results. These races attract some seasoned elite riders, but are also superb at getting novices involved in their first races. The atmosphere is always great at these races.
Alistair West ripping through the loose berms in Oddsox
This TT course is a belter. It brings together 3 types of trail into one race track. The top section is a well worn heavily rooty area with quite a natural feel to it, which goes by the name of Root 666, then into a fast berm man made trail by the name of Oddsox, followed by a small downhill fireroad sprint to skid into another more natural but man made section through some woods, with a few rocks and roots thrown in, then finally into another natural wooded area which lets you carry superb speed, especially when it is beautifully dry.
Adam Wilson (13-15) practicing the top of the trail.
Having said that, the NDHs luck with the weather had a slight turn for the worse as the racers second runs saw some hefty rain thrown in!
Martin Lambert racing through the rain on his second run
Amber having a moment of reflection and readying herself for more practice
Jade Limpus giving us some “enduro” entertainment.
Over 100 riders had signed up for the race with a total of 99 riders getting a final result, the fastest run of the day was by Kade Edwards (16-18) in an incredible 2:12.33 followed closely by a NDH regular Brad Illingworth (30-39) at just over 4s longer. The fastest woman of the day in a truly respectable 2:52.57 was Melodie Fife.
More in depth race results can be seen here at Roots and Rain.
(Left) Johnny Bouch flying over the roots. (Middle) Jade and her enduro setup. (Right) Jack Smith taking on the race on a hardtail, his first MTB race. Kudos!
The next race in the NDHs calendar is another TT race at one hell of a great venue in the borders of Scotland, Innerleithen. Places are still available and this will be one TT race not to miss. I’ll be heading over on Saturday to have a play on the trails and making a weekend of it to bring you further race reportage from the day.
Wesley Fife showing us small wheels still rock!
As always a big shout out to Carl and his Northern Downhill crew for another cracking race, Start cycles for providing the podium prizes and the marshals who stuck it out in the rain.
For more images head over to Roots
Pan shot berm, in the Oddsox man made trail
Step up jump nearing the bottom of Oddsox by winner kade edwards
If you won your race category, the ultimate cup in the Universe was yours!!
See you on the trails. Get entered in the Innerleithen TT, time is running out to sign up. Enter here if you dare!!